When and how to wean?

Weaning is a big change for babies

When to wean is decided by you and your baby. There is no definite right time to wean. Some children want to be breastfed for longer than the mother imagined. Personal needs should be taken into account.

Babies need so-called ‘weaning food’ from four months at the earliest and at the beginning of the 7th month at the latest for growth. Breastfeeding should be substituted by baby food step-by-step. This is the most natural way to wean.
You can carry on breastfeeding the remaining milk feeds – as long as you and your baby are happy with that. If you have to wean, or want to, slowly substitute (weekly) one breastfeed after another with infant milk formula.

If your baby refuses the ‘other’ milk or teat, first try with pumped milk or dip the teat in breast milk.

When your child has got used to the bottle, give infant milk formula. Your milk production will decrease when your baby is sucking less, and you reduce your fluid intake.

Important note:

Breastfeeding is the best and cheapest form of nutrition for your baby and, at the same time, provides good protection against illness. Frequent feeding is the best way to encourage milk flow. Take care to eat a balanced diet during breastfeeding. The decision not to breastfeed is difficult to reverse. If you give additional formula, this can affect successful breastfeeding. The World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months. Seek advice from your clinic or paediatrician.